What is a Canadian?

I’m always so annoyed with commercials about Canada. And with our extended hockey and playoff season, I’m extra annoyed with the commercials they happen to show during every playoff game.

The three biggest offenders are Molson Canadian, Tim Hortons and Canadian Tire.

Sure, it was all hilarious and somewhat true when Molson started with their I am Canadian commercial and the ensuing Canadian in America commercials. But they’ve strayed from making fun of the stereotypes to just stereotyping.

These commercials like to paint us all with one brush, as people who have to suffer through a cold snowy winter and rejoice when the ice finally melts in June.

But it’s not like that. At least not for me and my fellow Vancouverites.

Here’s a list of things that are supposedly inherently Canadian:

  • Skating on a frozen lake/pond
  • Cross country skiing
  • Canoeing
  • Beavers
  • Going to the cottage
  • This quiz (ok, not something the media tells us is Canadian, but I’ll explain)

I have never skated on a frozen lake, what person living in Vancouver can say they’ve done that within our city and it’s outskirts? And why would I cross country ski when I have to go to the mountains to do it… then why ski on a flat surface when you’ve got such world class downhill skiing mountains. I thought I had never been canoeing until my mom reminded me yesterday that I had one summer back when I was 11 (my blow up canoe didn’t count).  I’ve never seen a beaver in person, in fact they’re banned in Stanley Park.

And don’t even get me started on the word cottage. I have never met a person on the west coast who prefers the term cottage over cabin. I’ve done multiple Google searches to determine their differences, no one seems to have a definitive answer. Some say that cottages are on lakes, while cabins are in mountains. Others claim cabins are always log. The terms are always intermixed. It’s regional I suppose.

As for that quiz, I failed miserably. In the first few questions I got cocky thinking I’d be all-knowing, but then it went downhill around question 10. I ended up with 16 out of 50 correct. In my defense, I had just woken up and hadn’t had enough coffee yet. Once I reviewed the quiz it’s also really apparent that it’s biased towards the East coast, as if that’s the only place interesting historical events happen.

I really didn’t want to make a Canada day post ragging on Canadians. I guess my point is, we’re not all painted with the same brush and I wish the ad execs for the major Canadian companies would realize this.

They’d probably sell a lot more on the West coast if they did.

Happy Canada Day everyone!


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